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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers By N. Harry Rothschild,

  • Title: Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers
  • Author: N. Harry Rothschild
  • ISBN: 9780231169387
  • Page: 209
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Wu Zhao 624 705 , better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, is the only woman to have ruled China over the course of its 5,000 year history How did she rise to power, and why was she never overthrown Exploring a mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries, this multifaceted history suggests that Wu Zhao drew on China s rich pantheon of female divinities and eminenWu Zhao 624 705 , better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, is the only woman to have ruled China over the course of its 5,000 year history How did she rise to power, and why was she never overthrown Exploring a mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries, this multifaceted history suggests that Wu Zhao drew on China s rich pantheon of female divinities and eminent women to aid in her reign.Wu Zhao could not obtain political authority through conventional channels, but she could afford to ignore norms and tradition Deploying language, symbol, and ideology, she harnessed the cultural resonance, maternal force, divine energy, and historical weight of Buddhist devis, Confucian exemplars, Daoist immortals, and mythic goddesses, establishing legitimacy within and beyond the confines of Confucian ideology Tapping into deep, powerful subterranean reservoirs of female power, Wu Zhao built a pantheon of female divinities carefully calibrated to meet her needs at court Her pageant was promoted in scripted rhetoric, reinforced through poetry, celebrated in theatrical productions, and inscribed on steles Rendered with deft political acumen and aesthetic flair, these affiliations significantly enhanced Wu Zhao s authority and cast her as the human vessel through which the pantheon s divine energy flowed Her strategy is a model of political brilliance and proof that medieval Chinese women enjoyed a complex social status than previously known.
    Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis Divinities and Dynastic Mothers Wu Zhao better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu is the only woman to have ruled China over the course of its year history How did she rise to power and why was she never overthrown E

    One thought on “Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers”

    1. Wu Zhao, eighth century emperor of China, has to be one of the most fascinating and enigmatic women in history.She rose from a second class concubine to become the first wife of Emperor Tang Gaozong, and at his death, seized power and ousted her own son to become the only female emperor in Chinese history image error This book does not directly explore Wu Zhao s history Instead, Rothschild analyzes the mythical, religious, and historical figures that Wu Zhao used to bolster and justify her own p [...]

    2. Fantastic scholarly history I wrote a 9000 word essay on Empress Wu for my MA in Chinese history at SOAS and this reminded me why she is such a fascinating subject It was handled in much depth with great analysis of how she used religion to legitimise her power and position It challenged the older ideas that she simply used Buddhism to secure her position in opposition to the use of Taoism by the Tang The best history book I read this year.

    3. A primary note, since this seems to be a common misconception in the reviews this isn t a biography of Wu Zhao Wu Zetian It s a monograph on her political uses of legends, religious cults and mythological beings to support and abet her careers as Empress and Emperor.The book was at time a difficult read There was some dense information, especially for a lay person whose knowledge of Wu Zhao is limited mainly to Chinese period dramas and a handful of books on general Chinese history I picked it u [...]

    4. Wu Zhao became China s first and only empress She rose from obscurity to become the emperor much to the shock of the country It was evident that she was a political genius because she not only rose to the throne but also had a stable reign One of the ways that she used her political acumen was through religion She created a pantheon of female deities, and used them to help legitimize her reign The author then divides the book into three faiths Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism In each chapter, [...]

    5. From Netgalley for a Review Wu Zhao is one of the most fascinating women in Chinese history, and if you want to learn about her life and who she was, find a different book This book is for the hard core scholars who want to delve into the blending of religion and politics during her time as Empress, Dowager Empress, and Emperor See, when you rule a country as big and as rife with intrigue as Tang Dynasty China, everything you do is watched, recorded, weighed, and used to shape your legacyor over [...]

    6. I ve been interested in Empress Wu since I first lectured about T ang China in World History the carefully constructed politics of a woman who manipulated the imperial Chinese system to justify her palace takeover and subsequent rule via Buddhist religion, court ceremony, promotion of technology and successful statecraft This particular book is limited to studying her clever mining of Chinese history, Confucian scholarship and Daoist mysticism for female role models traditionalists could not dis [...]

    7. 2.5 5 stars, closer to a 2.A lot of the information was interesting, especially as standalone accounts, so I felt severely disjointed at the end of each section, even when there was attempt at linking everything to Wu Zhao It would have been fine reading about the divinities themselves on a separate historical book, and equally fine reading about Wu Zhao herself on a biographical tone, as opposed to learning about her in comparison to a divinity.

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